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Cumberland Art Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is supported by its members and generous friends of the arts. It is funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

186A S. Walnut Ave.
Cookeville, TN 38501

Cumberland Art Society History

In 1961, Reba Bacon, Associate Professor of Elementary Education at Reba BaconTennessee Technological University, called a meeting at the Library Auditorium on the TTU campus. Bacon said she wanted to “do something that I will be remembered for.” Bacon, Ramola Drost and a few others began the art society with Bacon as its founder. Approximately 100 people from the area attended the next meeting of the Cumberland Arts and Crafts Society. Within a few months, the membership became official with 68 charter members.

Ramola Drost


The annual exhibits of members’ works were held at the Tennessee Tech dance studio and the WHUB radio station’s community room. Monthly workshops and classes were held in various places in Cookeville and surrounding communities, including the Backdoor Playhouse at Tennessee Tech University.

Finally, in 1964, the old City Hall on North Walnut Ave. became vacant and was soon the home of the Cumberland Arts and Crafts Society. At the grand opening Norman Warrell, the executive director of the Tennessee Arts Commission of the Performing Arts Division, praised Cookeville as one of the four cities in Tennessee to inaugurate an art center. Old CAS at City HallAt this time the name was officially changed to the Cumberland Art Society. But, again in 1974 the CAS found itself without a home as the city demolished the old City Hall building to make room for construction of the Cookeville Drama Center.

In 1977, the Cumberland Art Society moved to its present location at 186 S. Walnut Avenue. The building exterior decoration and interior room layout was thoughtfully designed by Reba and Ramola to allow for spacious studio areas, as well as functional office space, and an elegant gallery. Former president, Adrienne Stone said, "The first time I came here, I couldn't believe it. I thought, 'This is the best kept secret in Cookeville.' It's the kind of facility that has made other people from large cities say, 'Wow, you don't know what you've got here!'"

Cumberland Art Society Membership

Anyone can become a member of the Cumberland Art Society. There are no restrictions or qualifications. An annual membership fee of $30 is the only requirement. The benefits are many, including use of the CAS art studio and equipment on all "open painting" days; opportunity to display your artwork in the CAS lobby, area banks and other businesses; ability to participate in the two annual membership shows (one juried), and a free monthly critique day when area artists gather to evaluate one another's work and offer constructive encouragement.

•  All artists, from beginners to advanced, are welcome
•   Frequent covered-dish luncheons provide time for friends to meet and enjoy the fellowship of area artists
•   Monthly reception held at the studio for current show participants
•   A monthly newsletter with news and information for members
•   Membership shows twice a year in the center’s “Backdoor Gallery” with no entry fees for members

  Art classes and workshops in watercolor, oils, acrylics, colored pencil, drawing, woodcarving, and more are offered by visiting and local artists at reasonable fees(visit our classes and workshops page)

How to Locate Us

CAS locator mapHow to find us... it’s easy when you know where we are! The Cumberland Art Society is located in the northeast quadrant of the Cookeville Senior Center building at 186 South Walnut Ave. We are totally separate from the Senior Center, so please park in the large back parking lot behind the building. The entrance to the Art Society is off this back parking lot under the green awning with the CAS logo.

Gallery hours are from 12 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. We're closed on Saturdays. Classes and workshops are scheduled throughout the week and change monthly. Please check our call the CAS for in formation about what classes are currently available—931-526-2424


Our Board of Directors for 2014–2015

President –Gail Cicutto
1st V.P.– Chuck Becker
2nd V.P.– Colleen Hughes
Secretary/Publicity Bonnie Masters
TreasurerRose Dahms
Members at large –
    Betsy Fox
    Connie Norton
    Nancy Niller

How to Apply for Membership

You may come by the Society office any afternoon, Monday through Friday, and apply in person. Or you can print a PDF copy of our membership application form and mail it in with your check to 186 S. Walnut Ave., Cookeville, TN 38501. We look forward to having you join us!

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Contact us for more information

About Us |Classes and Workshops
Backdoor Gallery Exhibit | Featured Artist
Information for CAS Members Only | Home

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